The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Friday, March 13, 2009
Sex abuse victims applaud bridge re-naming
Statement by Barbara Dorris, SNAP National Outreach Director, 314-862-7688
We're encouraged that this long-overdue step toward healing and justice is taking place. We commend every person who has played a role in this simple but important gesture. It will bring some comfort, we believe, to hundreds of men and women who were molested as kids.
We hope that this re-naming will give pause to others who want to prematurely honor clerics and others who may turn out to be child molesters. It's crucial that officials move slowly and carefully, and investigate thoroughly, before publicly praising an ostensibly praiseworthy individual who may prove to be a criminal.
We also hope that yesterday's action will prod others who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes, by clergy or others, to come forward, get help, call police, and start healing. When victims and witnesses stay silent, kids keep suffering and predators keep molesting. But when victims and witnesses find the strength and courage, like the victims of Fr. Curran, to speak up, at least there's a chance for healing, justice and prevention.
David Clohessy, SNAP National Director 314-566-9790
Span formally renamed Calumet Bridge at Old Fort Western
Kennebec Journal Morning Sentinel 03/13/2009
The Maine Senate on Thursday gave final approval to a bill to rename the Father John J. Curran Bridge in Augusta.
With no debate, the bill passed with unanimous consent. Gov. John Baldacci said he'll sign the bill into law.
The bill, brought forward by Rep. Patsy Crockett, D-Augusta, will change the name to the Calumet Bridge at Old Fort Western.
"It's a wonderful name, and I am pleased they went through the process," Baldacci said. "I'm looking forward to signing the bill into law."
Curran served as priest at St. Augustine Church from 1962 to 1972 and was a well-respected figure in Augusta. The Legislature voted in 1973 to name the bridge after him. He died in 1976.
After his death, accusations of child sexual abuse surfaced. Advocates for abuse victims worked this summer to get the names of scholarships changed and to begin the process of renaming the bridge.
"The community really came forward to push for this change and find a suitable replacement," Crockett said in a statement. "The renaming shows our commitment to support survivors and stand together in the fight against sexual abuse."
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests